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While perusing Facebook (FB) this morning, I read an entry titled Things I Was Convinced Would Change My Whole Life — But Didn’t. Curiosity. Mine. Hooked. Immediately. The FB author’s list also included things that did change their life. Thoughts. Mine. Whirring.

My list is relatively short, for now, but in the excitement of the moment I have no patience for delayed gratification to achieve a perfect selection. So here goes (in no specific order)…

Did Not Change

  • psychic readings ~ not one step closer to discovering my birth family origins or a myriad of other important-to-me stuff; a big step closer to being financially poorer
  • tea leaf reading ~ no second child has yet appeared
  • cabbage soup diet ~ just say ‘no thank you’ or just plain ‘no’
  • running as a sport ~ been there, done that & cannot remember why exactly
  • black leather jacket ~ maybe the leather wasn’t ‘buttery’ enough
  • years long search for birth family ~ nada
  • solo art exhibit ~ momentary rush, only

Did Change

  • down comforter ~ warmth as light as a feather (pun intended)
  • stopping smoking cigarettes ~ huge positive change
  • my daughter ~ no need to say more
  • writing memoir ~ although unpublished (yet), process clarified & aided healing
  • Annie Rosa Lee Dog ~ life changing, for sure; taught me joy
  • primary relationships ~ at least two, maybe three, truly altered my life’s course; okay maybe four
  • earning doctoral degree ~ better late than never

So, there you have it, my lists.  At least for now.  Something tells me that I will be pondering & adding for a while.

Tag.

You’re It.  Lists, please.

You know that old saying, the one that goes something like, be careful for what you wish, you might just receive it or some such thing.  I have never been a big fan of that particular saying.  As life seems to enjoy a good laugh or two, at my expense (or so it seems), this week I have heard myself iterating this phrase and then I suppose reiterating the same saying.  Because I did make a wish and I am, indeed, receiving said wish.

In fact, I did more than send a wish into the Universe.  I crafted an invitation.  An invitation to a celebration, a party if you will in honor of myself.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  I, as in me, myself and I.  A celebration of MY LIFE to coincide with one of my favorita days of the year Summer Solstice (the other favorita days of the year, Winter Solstice).  I crafted this invitation and then sent it out into the Universe to invitees both local and to those who live in what we fondly refer to as the Lower 48, even though there are 49 other states in the Union.  Some folks may be wondering what are we even considering here?  What’s the big deal?  Where’s the problem?  What is this post even about?  Well, read further dear blogging friends and I will further bare my fragile vulnerable underbelly of neurosis.

In sending this invitation, I was telling myself Number One, that I am valuable enough and could possibly be important enough to someone(s)’ that they would/will take time out of their lives to journey North to celebrate my life.  For those invitees from Outside there would/will be the travel expense, which is no small ‘taters.  The moment I hit the send button on my email invitation the anxiety that had already built to about a 4 on a 1-10 scale, hit about an 8.  That old and tired but loud whiny voice of who do you think you are little Missy and you are a selfish self-centered little girl aren’t you today blah blah blah took over.  Thankfully, before this part of me could overtake me and tackle me into the mud, I began receiving responses to my invitation within a half hour of its flight.

Thus, this week has been a life lesson of opening my heart again and again to the love that is there for me to receive.  Although overwhelming, I remind myself that I am a growed up woman, as my adoptive mother used to say about herself.  And a little or even a lot of overwhelm over receiving a lot of love from family and friends is some thing a growed up woman can handle on any given day.

My heart is full.

My heart is full and expanding.

Somewhere and sometime along the way on this journey of mine on this particular circuitous path that I tread called my life, I let go of the hope of finding my first mother, my omma.  In the beginning as a child, I barely dared even think of her even when I was sleeping ~ dreaming about this most precious woman in the whole wide world.  And then in adulthood, I defied all that I had been taught and brainwashed to believe by my adoptive mother, and took the lid off the hole in my heart where this yearning for my birth mother lived.  This hope was faint but thrumming with the rhythm of my heartbeat and sprang fully alive with urgings from my thoughts, dreams and fantasies of this mystery woman’s face, touch and fragrance. 

So today the realization that the hope is reduced, once again, to barely a flutter now and again, is startling. 

Hope and hunger, however, are two separate states of being.  For I still long for this woman, my creator.  Longing that aches to my very soul.  Even with my dim hope that I will ever find her on this planet, in the form of my first omma, the yearning is still present.  She is somewhere.  Perhaps over the proverbial rainbow.  Maybe existing on another plane in a different form.  But, somewhere there exists is at least a remnant of this one whom I have gone without for ever so long. 

Happy Mother’s Day Omma from your daughter aka Korean adoptee, junemoon.

One of the wonders of modern living holds sway over me still and most likely always will.  The ability to turn on the tap and have potable water appear ~ instantly appear and then with a slight flick of the wrist make it hot or return it to an icy coldness.  Now that is life in the fast lane, baby.  And we haven’t even mentioned the luxury of the flush toilet.  Oh my!

I grew up in rural areas.  My childhood was a blend spent between the Pacific coast and the Atlantic Shoreboard.  The constant being the oceans and country living.  For most of those years we lived without plumbing or electricity.  Sometimes we had electricity and no plumbing.  My adoptive parents liked to say that they had running water, they’d just send me and my sister running to fetch it.  Yep, that was a real knee slapper, their little joke.  Explains though my life long awe of running water that does not require me walking for over a quarter of a mile or more and making like a pack mule hauling back 5-gallon bright red plastic jugs or multiple re-purposed white bleach bottles of the clear liquid. 

Although I have yet to taste a sweeter more pure cup of water than what ran in one of the springs on a homestead in a faraway place, I have to say that the trade off has proved worth the exchange over time. 

So earlier today while I was letting the hot water sluice through my hair I closed my eyes and said a little thank you to the Running Water Goddess and the Universe at large, for such a gift in my daily life.  This blessing of running water.  A blessing that millions of my species do not have access to, whose very lives revolve around the seeking and retrieving of this liquid manna. 

Life is about perspective.  At least my life today seems to be and just a little shift in my focus has helped me participate in my life in this moment.  Helped me send up a prayer of gratitude to the Running Water Goddess and loosen my hold on what was feeling a lot like the running water blues.

It appears that a simple function termed threading of film onto a projector eludes me.  Baffles me even after some time and effort spent cleaning the very old equipment and online searching for helpful how-to instructions.  Not surprising I suppose ~ this road block of sorts.  After all, this is no ordinary antique projector.  This is my adoptive parent’s projector and the 8mm and super 8mm film reels housed in their bright yellow Kodak cardboard boxes hold family history  family secrets  family surprises.  This film plays silently with only the loud thrum of the machinery accompanying the grainy color images. 

At least that is how I remember the viewings as a child and young adult when after much pleading, my mother would finally acquiesce, giving my father permission to haul out the projector and the film.  As adopted daughters, my sister and I, yearned even more than the average kid to see again and again the evidence of our belonging, of our history.  A history that only went back to when we arrived in America, bought by these White American parents.  I was a Korean adoptee and so was my sister, arriving from different backgrounds and first families to form our very own little tribe of two in a land where no one looked like us ~ to a land where for all of our childhoods we were known as The Adopted Korean Girls. 

Fast forward many years and here you will find me.  Finally pushing through my myriad of fears, resistance and ambivalence to allow myself to figure out another piece of my foundation.  Sounds heavy for such a simple task of figuring out an old projector and watching a few canisters of film.  Simple or not, these actions have been many years in the making. 

It seems that the gathering of our lives lived through memories, yearnings, wishes and dreams is a life long journey.  A journey which offers experiences of joy, sadness, grief, longing, laughter, anger, tears, breath taking ah-ha’s, rage and acceptance.  I figure that I am somewhere a little past mid-way of this journey of this life time and it is looking more possible than naught that there will be future viewings of these little films.  Where those particular pieces of the puzzle will fit is not quite clear, yet.  Thankfully there is a focusing mechanism on this antiquated projector. 

 

This past Monday we celebrated the Lunar New Year, which is commonly known in the United States as Chinese New Year. Since, however, other Asian cultures observe the lunar calendar, Lunar New Year, seems more appropriate. This particular new year is known as the Year of the Dragon and horoscopes based on the lunar new years further denotes it as the Year of the Black Water Dragon. The colors and the element signifiers are linked and this year’s Dragon is tempered by the sensitivity and fluidity of water.

I was born in the year of the Fire Rooster. I am told, anyway.
Being an adoptee, a First Generation Korean Adoptee to be precise, I have never known my true birth date much less the time and the positions of the moon, sun and stars.

After reading about the usual characteristics, strengths and foibles of Fire Rooster individuals, I can’t help but wonder if I was really born in the year that I have been told that I made my appearance on this planet. This birth date, after all, was merely assigned to me somewhere along the way in one of the orphanages and/or foster homes I dwelled in for varying lengths of short time periods. Sound vague, do I? Well guess what, this birth date mystery business has all felt a little or a lot vague, shrouded in fog and dimly lit. Throughout my life I have felt incomplete and more than a wee bit off center not knowing a simple date.

But it is never a simple anything… Along with the not knowing my birth date comes the ignorance about my first family. No true memories of my omma’s face, her scent or touch. A void where my life’s beginning would have been. Unrooted. At times unanchored and unhinged.

So somehow this celebration of the year of the Black Water Dragon got me going down the familiar but not recently walked path of wondering wishing and yearning for hints and knowledge of my past. There aren’t any pretty bows to tie on this particular piece of sharing ~ only a heart and spirit that feel incomplete, sometimes.

This weekend I am re-connecting with the glue that gives my life the texture and richness bright swirls cloudy dark nights and most of all the love in my heart.

Yesterday I watched my daughter navigate her day, and a busy day it was, with competence humor and grace and in all of the potential holiday craziness, I had several occasions when I said out loud, to myself ~ you are my family ~ you own a big big chunk of my heart ~

Today I will be spending time with my sister and as much as we can push one another’s buttons, we can make the other one laugh harder and longer than any other human on the planet can. We are sisters. I am thinking that there will be an occasion or two when I might gaze at her and say the same words ~ you are my family ~ you own a big big chunk of my heart ~

These times are the best of the holiday season ~ I am a lucky and grateful woman today ~ my family is near ~ within hugging range ~

By the end of today, seven whole full entire days will have passed without a head swipe from my BBV (aka Bastard Buddy Vertigo). These past almost seven 24-hour time loops have ushered in the most vertigo free I have felt since February of this year. Still sleeping vertically but progress is progress and there is much progress.

Dare I hope for a full remission or even a permanent adios to this condition?
Or is the most appropriate response to simply accept and enjoy what I have in the moment?
Maybe a little and alot of both ~

Do you believe in jinx’es?
Are you superstitious?
I am. Even when I don’t want to be.

I was raised by a Southern woman. She was a true believer in superstition. In fact, for all I know my mama could have invented the word, if you receive my meaning.

So, as superstition might have it I must not look good fortune in the eye lest I jinx myself.
Maybe if I just do some quiet celebrating with eyes downcast…
But with a smile on my lips and joy in my heart ~

McKenzie over at mommysaidaswearword has given me my first (ever) super (duper) cool blogging award. Wow! Not only did I WIN an award but it was gifted to me by a sister blogger whose words and sharing I respect and utterly appreciate ~ McKenzie makes me laugh out loud and think and ponder ~ all pasttimes that I enjoy.

In accepting the award, I am tasked with sharing seven (7) secrets about myself. That’s a thinker, that task is. I already have the 62 trivial and tantalizing tidbits about myself page to my little blog… But hey, we all harbor secrets, right? Our shadow selves? Our too quirky to still be considered eccentric components. Right?? Okay here goes, the big “reveal” (re-appropriating an HGTV term) ~ hope we’re still buddies at the end ~

1 ~ I haven’t met any kind of goat cheese that I like, so far.

2 ~ I eat popcorn one kernel at a time and have been known to look down upon folks who shovel hand-fulls into their open gaping sometimes still chomping on the last hand-full, mouths. (Yes, I do understand that judging others is wrong. completely wrong minded. twisted. and tainted.)

3 ~ I, along with thousands of others, dread to see babies and little tykes boarding the same airplane that I will be tortured flying on. No matter how cute. or beautiful. the little one is. I feel dread and the internal begging begins, which goes akin to this, “dear god, please oh please oh please oh please, do not have me sitting beside the baby.” (Yes, I do know that it is not the infant’s fault that they cry ~ their poor little ears hurt. And yes, I do know that the tyke who keeps kicking the back of my ill fitting seat is not the devil’s spawn but, instead, a poor wee one who is as sick as I am of being cooped up like an everdead sardine.) I still say the endless loop prayer.

4 ~ When I am really super stressed, I fantasize about the perfect home ~ the location, the floors (polished stained concrete, hardwood, bamboo) ~ the views…

5 ~ I love, as in deeply, love my smart phone. (Yes, I understand that it is wrong minded to love an inanimate object, a mere piece of technology ~ but, I do and what’s more, I tell it so every day).

6 ~ I still do not know what I really look like even though I am more than half way through this life time. Glimpses, here and again. but nothing permanent or lasting.

7 ~ I still miss my first omma.

Well, that went quicker than I imagined it might. The second and last part of receiving this award is sharing 15 blogs that I follow and enjoy. Now, that’s a no problem sort of task. In fact, I am honored to list the following blogs and to encourage folks to check them out ~ some are uber funny, others contemplative in nature ~ but all of them have enriched my life in some fashion or another, time after time. Oh, and remember to check out mymommysaidaswearword afterall, McKenzie is the one who chose me to receive this fantastic award.

Happy reading ~

Terri’s Little Corner

all the elbows

KoreanHapa

Trailer Park Nirvana

Joy the Baker

The Wednesday Chef

My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours

One Crafty Girl!

Burnt Lumpia

Mixed American Life

Roboseyo

Urban Simplicity

Plum Bananas

An Apple A Day

Hello Korea!

If you identify with the title of this post, please go F*CK yourself. No. If you identify with the title of this post, go F*CK yourself, without the please.

Oh my Gawd! The White Coated One (as in medical doctor) turned out to be the epitome of the title of this post. To be even more precise or to flesh out the visual more fully, I will add old. Old, and not in the good way of older and wiser or mature or seasoned with age. Just yucky old. Old with a scraggly ponytail, old. Old, with big beefy hairy hands old.

Yuck.
And yuck, again.

This White Lecherous Oriental Lover (WLOL) White Coated One, proudly told me that his wife was “an Oriental,” who like me was “an Oriental adoptee.” And guess what else? Lo and behold, his “Oriental wife” is two years older than me. Hallelujah. And strike up the band!

The White Coated WLOL shared all of this scintillating information after learning from my medical history that I am a Korean adoptee. When I said that I identify as Korean American or Asian, WLOL proudly reported that “my wife knows she’s a [sic] Oriental and she doesn’t mind being called one.” Well butter my bread on both sides, I was sure glad to get that 411.

As a woman of color and more specifically as an international adoptee, I have heard many a racist, backward, uneducated, biased, stereotyped remark in my day. Some of these oldies but never goodies have been directed at me and sometimes as descriptors or comments about others.

My outward response varies. Depending on the situation, time, place, previous relationship with speaker as well as the social and/or professional context. Oh, and then there’s always the factor of my overall mood in the moment ~ zen like or prickly or somewhere inbetween.

Sometimes I address the remark directly. Sometimes I attempt to provide social education. Sometimes I react before I think, attempting to construct a new orifice for the speaker. Sometimes I do not react or comment. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I exit the room.

What is consistent is the internal reaction that instantly occurs ~ the injury to my spirit or as some have described, as one of a hundred thousand small paper cuts.

Then, I get to dress the wound and go about figuring out, again and again, how to flourish in a world where ignorance thrives.

Ignorance and lechery. Never a good combination.

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